What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that commonly results in hyperactivity, difficulty concentrating, impulsivity, and procrastination. 1 In the United States, 11% of children are diagnosed with ADHD and 4.4% of people continue to experience it throughout adulthood. 2 *These numbers may be lower than actual, due to underreporting and diagnosis, especially in women and communities of color.
Does Mindfulness Meditation Help ADHD?
Research shows mindfulness interventions and meditation can help manage ADHD in adults. 3 Many people with ADHD find that practicing mindfulness meditation regularly helps them feel more focused. 4 This is because mindfulness practice increases gray matter in the brain, which contributes to improved memory, cognitive function, and motor skills. 5 Adding simple mindfulness meditation exercises into your regular routine is easy when you follow these tips.
ADHD Mindfulness Meditation Tips
Start with short, easy mindfulness meditation practices. Try sitting comfortably for three to five minutes and simply notice what thoughts appear in your mind, observe them, and let them go. You can also try these six mindfulness exercises that can be done in just a minute or two, in any location. Once you get comfortable doing these exercises, you can start gradually lengthening your meditation sessions.
Create a Quiet Environment
Before you begin your mindfulness meditation session, make sure you have a quiet environment with as few distractions as possible. Set your phone to silent, turn off the television, go somewhere you can be alone, and put on calming music if that is relaxing for you. This will make it easier to sit and focus on your meditation exercise without getting pulled out of your focus by noises or reminders of the outside world.
Schedule Your Meditation
Since people with ADHD often struggle with time management, finding the time to meditate can be an obstacle. 6 In order to get in the habit of fitting meditation into your day, schedule it in your calendar and stick to your set time to begin meditating. You do not need a long time, just five to ten minutes. When you sit down to meditate, set a timer so you will know exactly when to stop and get back to your day.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
If you have ADHD and have trouble meditating without getting distracted by your surroundings, wearing extra comfortable clothes can help. If you wear soft, loose-fitting clothing while you meditate, you are less likely to become distracted by the feeling of stiff fabric or a scratchy tag. Try integrating your meditation practice into your bedtime or morning routine and do it while you are already wearing comfortable sleepwear.
For more natural ways to manage ADHD, speak to a naturopathic doctor. They will work with you to come up with dietary and lifestyle changes tailored to you.
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